Series Alert: Yankees to host Blue Jays

Where & When To Watch

Tonight: Coverage of Game 1 begins at 6:00 on YES and the YES App.

Wednesday: Coverage of Game 2 begins at 6:30 p.m. on Prime. YES and the YES App will have the Postgame Show right after the final out.

Thursday: Coverage of Game 3 begins at 6:00 p.m. on YES and the YES App.

Leading Off

Having gone an MLB-best 14-6 since Aug. 28, the Yankees open their final homestand of the regular season this evening with the first of three games against Toronto. Hispanic Heritage Month is going to be celebrated throughout the homestand, which will also include three matchups versus Arizona. The Yanks lead their season series with the Blue Jays 4-3 and these teams have six head-to-head games remaining.

How ‘Bout That

Anthony Volpe continued to etch his name deeper into the Yankees’ rookie record books during their last series against the Pirates! Volpe’s home run Sunday was his 21st of the season, moving him into a tie with Kevin Maas for the sixth-highest total by a rookie in franchise history. Aaron Judge is the runaway leader thanks to the 52 he hit during his historic 2017 season, followed by the legendary Joe DiMaggio and the 29 he hit in 1936. The Yankees just saw the player third on the list in Pittsburgh – ex-Yankee Miguel Andujar, who homered 27 times in 2018 when he finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting between third-place teammate Gleyber Torres and the winner, Shohei Ohtani. Another legend is in fourth place, Joe Gordon with the 25 he hit in 1938, and Torres ranks fifth thanks to the 24 he logged in that ’18 campaign.

Pinstriped Pulse

The Yankees’ bullpen continued its excellent season Saturday when three relievers combined to retire all 15 batters they faced in a 6-3 win. Their work followed starter Luke Weaver, who struck out seven batters over four innings in his team debut after he was claimed off waivers from the Mariners last Tuesday. Jhony Brito delivered his latest impressive multi-inning performance with three perfect frames. In his last six games, Brito has worked 17 innings while giving up only a couple of runs. Ian Hamilton followed Brito, returning from a right groin strain, in his first appearance since Aug. 30 and showing no rust as he resumed his impressive year – Hamilton’s season ERA is 2.19. Former Pirate Clay Holmes closed out his old team twice over the weekend and enters play against Toronto riding a streak of nine consecutive scoreless outings. Oswald Peraza is batting .333 over his last 13 games while Oswaldo Cabrera has a .320 average over his last seven. Aaron Judge enters the homestand with 32 home runs, fifth-most in the American League despite all the time he missed this year. The injured Ohtani leads the AL with 44 but the three players between him and Judge have 36, 34, and 33 homers respectively so it’s possible that Judge could move up the leaderboard before the Yanks wrap up their home slate.

Probable Pitchers

Clarke Schmidt is unbeaten over his last seven starts at the Stadium, posting an ERA of 3.29. He will work the series opener against Yusei Kikuchi, who pitched well in the Bronx back in April but surrendered six runs to the Rangers in his last outing. Michael King will try to continue his smooth transition from the bullpen to the rotation when he starts tomorrow opposite AL strikeout leader Kevin Gausman, whose 222 place him one ahead of Minnesota’s Pablo López and 14 ahead of Gerrit Cole. In five games since becoming a full-fledged starter, King has a 1.27 ERA and his season mark of 2.77 leads the AL among pitchers who have worked at least 85 innings, slightly in front of Cole (2.81). Speaking of the Yankees' ace, Cole will have another opportunity to bolster his Cy Young credentials when he starts Thursday’s finale. Toronto is going to counter with José Berríos, the owner of a lifetime ERA north of five against the Yankees over 62.2 innings including postseason play.